Revealed - what Preston OAP fraudster can and can't do under new strict court order

Legal restrictions on the activities of a serial fraudster who sold a dementia stricken couple's Fulwood home behind their backs have been revealed.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 3:45 pm

Under the terms of a five year Serious Crime Prevention Order, Syed Arfat Bukhari, also known as Syed Arfan Bukhari Shah, 40, faces strict controls over his banking, finances, where he lives or works, and his communication services.

It comes after he fleeced an elderly retired Merchant Navy officer, now 84, and his wife, 85, out of £350,000 and blew the cash on hair transplants, dental work, first class flights to Dubai, renting Lamborghini sports cars, and jewellery.

On his arrest he was in possession of seven mobile telephones and 57 SIM cards.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Syed Bukhari

He is serving seven years and 11 months for the fraud - which will be followed by a further five years and seven months for another fraud involving faking his death to claim a £1m insurance payout.

In a hearing on Friday at Sessions House Court, Bukhari was given a five year SCPO - a civil order imposed on a person convicted of a serious crime to protect the public by preventing or disrupting their involvement in serious crime.It means for five years after his eventual release, he must notify in writing the full postal addresses and post codes of all premises, including business premises, which he may own, possess the keys to, occupy (whether as a tenant or not) or control, including those in the name of a third party to which he has an interest.

This includes, but is not limited to, garages, outbuildings, allotments, garden buildings sheds and virtual office facilities.

Judge Simon Newell said the reason for this is to thwart the defendant from hiding properties that he may gain or have gained from any criminal conduct when he is released from custody, or hiding any criminal activity of the type of which he has been convicted - fraudulent business activity, by using properties owned or used by others.

He has to close any bank accounts he holds in other parts of the world, and is not allowed to have more than one current account, one savings account and one credit card account, which must be at a bank or building society in England or Wales, and must not use any other person’s current, savings or credit card accounts for his own purposes, or hold, have an interest in, or control, any monies held in accounts in the name of third parties.

He has to provide his account details and balance to the authorities, and notify them seven days in advance if he tries to take out credit.

The judge said those terms are intended to thwart him from hiding monies that he may gain or have gained from any criminal conduct when he is released from custody. It is also to prevent him from conducting any criminal transactions of the types of which he has been convicted, including the use of other’s bank accounts/financial provisions in order to benefit himself and to pass monies gained from criminal conduct through.

It is also to stop him from conducting any criminal transactions, including applications for credit in third party identities and dissipation of monies obtained via fraudulent credit applications.

Bukhari is only allowed to have mobile telephone, one SIM sim card, one tablet device and one computer, other than where provided by an employer, at any one time, which must be registered to his name and address with the relevant Service Provider, and if using a top up arrangement rather than a contract he has to notify the authorities within a week of any credit top ups and the method used, such as credit card.

He must provide his telephone number, SIM card number, IMEI number and service provider, including work devices, and give a week's notice if he plans to change his mobile.

Historically offenders involved in the type of organised criminality he has been convicted of will use several mobile phones to conduct criminal business and to mask, disguise or hide communication.

They often use one phone to conduct a specific aspect of criminality or to communicate with a specific criminal associates, keeping another phone for day to day matters.

The offences he was convicted of highlighted the use of more than one mobile phone and SIM in an attempt to thwart law enforcement agencies

He is prohibited from being in possession of any cash, in any currency, in excess of £1,000 when released from jail, or transfer more than £1,000 unless he has sent written notice at least seven days in advance specifying the amount of cash, the source of the cash, the purpose he intends to use it for and the receiver of any such transactions.

The order says: " "The reason for this is so as to prevent the defendant from hiding monies that he may gain or have gained from any criminal conduct. Historically criminals will deal in cash transactions in order to hide the movement of monies for illicit purposes and also look to launder this money by making payment for day to day items in cash. In relation to the matters the defendant has been convicted of he has been seen to withdraw significant sums of money from other’s bank accounts in relatively short periods of time."

The Lancashire Post is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Lancashire news and information online, you can subscribe here.